As most of you are aware, COVID-19 infection rates have been rising steadily in school aged children since the start of the academic year. The UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and Slough Borough Council have asked schools to remind parents of the protocols that must be adhered to in order to reduce the risk of transmission.
The current level of confirmed Covid cases in Slough schools is low but every case contributes to the overall transmission level within Slough, so I am keen that we play our part in supporting Slough Local Authority.
At Western House Academy, we will continue to:
- Encourage frequent handwashing and sanitising,
- Maintain good respiratory hygiene and ventilation,
- High standards of cleaning throughout the day,
- Encourage social distancing amongst adults,
- Provide online learning for those having to self-isolate due to a confirmed positive case
- Limit events to online. (Any whole school assemblies, parent meetings, performances)
- Pause contact with external parties (whole borough school sporting events)
- Keep contact between children limited to phases (EYFS, KS1, LKS2, UKS2)
- Remind parents and staff of the protocols around PCR and LFD testing. Any child or member of staff who has a household member test positive for COVID-19 and any child or member of staff who is identified as a close contact of a positive case via NHS Test and Trace should be advised to take a daily LFD test for 7 days, in addition to taking a one-off PCR test.
- Remind parents that children under 18 or adults who are fully vaccinated are exempt from self-isolation and can therefore continue to attend school during this period of daily LFD testing.
In addition to these measures the school will:
- No longer hold whole school assemblies with staff and children and will move back to class based assemblies
- Encourage parents to wear a face mask when on site and to observe social distancing
- Encourage parents/carers to communicate with us by telephone and only in exceptional circumstances will we ask you to attend our buildings. If you do attend then you will need to wear a face mask and follow distancing practices as suggested by Public Health England.
- Pause participation in off-site sporting events within the local community
- No longer book off site activities in the autumn term and will review our position on trips already booked
- Risk assess every off site activity next term to see if the trip is able to proceed
Our current protocols and risk assessments will remain under regular review in light of any change to Government guidance. Should there be a rise in cases, we will seek advice from the UK Health Security Agency and notify you accordingly.
Although the immediate health risks to children and young people are low, the potential harm from missing or disrupted education is significant. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that our children receive the education that they are entitled to by minimising unnecessary absence.
We thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times.
Mrs C Snowden